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Applicability of the Procurement Ombudsman's Mandate

Crown Corporation Issue Note

Issue:

Does the Procurement Ombudsman's mandate apply to federal Crown corporations?

Context:

As part of the Federal Accountability Act and Action Plan, the federal government established the position of Procurement Ombudsman. The Procurement Ombudsman will help to ensure that the government's procurement practices are fair and transparent.

The mandate of the Procurement Ombudsman is to:

  • Review procurement practices across government on an ongoing basis to ensure fairness and transparency;
  • Make recommendations for improvements to the relevant department;
  • Review complaints from potential suppliers after contract award with respect to procurements of goods and services that are covered by the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT) but which are below the monetary thresholds of that agreement ($25,000 goods and $100,000 for services);
  • Review complaints with respect to the administration of contracts; and
  • Ensure the provision of an alternative dispute resolution process for contract disputes.

The Procurement Ombudsman reports to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada and will submit an annual report to the Minister for tabling in Parliament.

Analysis:

The mandate of the Procurement Ombudsman extends only to the activities of "departments", which are defined in section 2 of the Financial Administration Act; Crown corporations are not included in the definition.[1]

Conclusion:

Crown corporations are not included in the Financial Administration Act definition of "departments" so the Procurement Ombudsman's mandate will not apply to them.

Further Information:

RDIMS # 595583

Updated

November 22, 2007

Prepared by

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat,
Government Operations Sector,
Governance Directorate

Consultation

Procurement and Project Management Policy Directorate, GOS, TBS
Legal Services, TBS


[1] In Section 2 of the Financial Administration Act "department" means: (a) any of the departments named in Schedule I, (a.1) any of the divisions or branches of the federal public administration set out in column I of Schedule I.1, (b) a commission under the Inquiries Act that is designated by order of the Governor in Council as a department for the purposes of this Act, (c) the staffs of the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, office of the Senate Ethics Officer and office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner, and (d) any departmental corporation; "departmental corporation" means a corporation named in Schedule II.